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Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) presents a new Congressional district map, drawn by the Senate Republican Caucus.

Activists considering whether another ballot issue is needed for Ohio redistricting process

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Supreme Court decision throwing out newly drawn maps for the Ohio House and Senate also included some advice for those concerned about how the maps were created. This was the first time the maps had been drawn under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2015 to take… Read More

Paper bags filled with non-perishable food is slid down a table to be handed out at the River of Life Church in Middleport, Ohio

As the pandemic rages on, lines and costs are up at foodbanks across Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — This latest omicron variant has schools in Cleveland and Cincinnati going back to remote learning, workplaces delaying returning to offices – and people continuing to head to foodbanks. Lines are growing at food banks. And with inflation and other issues, so are costs at those food banks. “Supply chains and the availability… Read More

College Classroom

Ohio schools group says bill to require all curriculum to be posted online could be a problem

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio’s schools would be required to post curriculum, lesson plans, reading lists and other material on their websites for anyone to access under a bill that’s been proposed by Rep. Brent Hillyer (R-Ulrichsville). An organization representing the state’s school boards says the idea is good in principle, but making… Read More

A masked student walks the hallway at Worthington Kilbourne High School in March 2021, as students came back to in-person learning with a mask mandate in place.

Ohio hospitals ask schools to keep or bring back mask mandates to help with soaring COVID numbers

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The state hit a record for COVID hospitalizations yesterday, and medical professionals are now battling the fast-spreading omicron variant while still dealing with the delta variant. 5,356 COVID-positive patients in Ohio hospitals now – a new pandemic record, passing the old one of 5,308 set on December 15, 2020…. Read More

Ohio Supreme Court

Constitutionality of Ohio’s Congressional map now in the hands of the state’s Supreme Court justices

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The Ohio Supreme Court heard a second round of arguments about gerrymandering in less than a month. They’re being asked to decide if the state’s new Congressional district map is unconstitutional, by some of the same groups that have also sued over the new maps for Ohio’s state House and Senate districts. Chief Justice Maureen… Read More

This Aug. 1 2018 photo shows a board at Harrah's casino in Atlantic City, N.J., listing the odds on pro football games in the first week of the NFL season. Resorts casino will begin taking sports bets in person on Wednesday, Aug. 15, becoming the fifth Atlantic City casino to do so.

Sports gambling passes Ohio legislature after years of debate and now heads to the governor

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A bill that’s on its way to Gov. Mike DeWine would legalize sports gambling in Ohio starting before January 1, 2023. State lawmakers have been working on the issue since the US Supreme Court allowed states to set up sports betting in 2018. The bill, which adds gambling language… Read More

An HIV graphic

Advocates push for changes to Ohio’s HIV-related laws, noting coronavirus has changed state policies

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — There are around 25,000 Ohioans living with HIV, and about a thousand people are newly diagnosed each year in Ohio. But advocates say Ohio’s HIV laws need to be changed, as lawmakers have considered measures related to the coronavirus pandemic. Around 30 states require people with HIV to inform partners before… Read More

The blue Christmas tree at Easton Town Center in Columbus

Ohio holiday shoppers are expected to spend more on stuff this year than in 2020

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohioans are expected to spend more than $31 billion this holiday season, up 7.3% from last year. That forecast comes from researchers hired by the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants. “The Economics Center is forecasting a 7.3% increase in Ohio relevant retail spending during the 2021 holiday season compared… Read More

Drivers line up at the Celeste Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds to receive free COVD tests on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

Ohio is heading into winter already in a COVID surge

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio attorney general Dave Yost has announced he’s signing onto a lawsuit by more than a dozen states against a COVID vaccine requirement by Medicaid and Medicare for health care workers. But the state’s health agency is still pushing the message that vaccines are the best way to beat… Read More

A handgun is laid on a notebook

Ohio House okays lowering training requirements for armed teachers and school staff

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio House has passed a Republican-backed bill changing the law requiring more 700 hours of peace officer training or 20 years law enforcement experience for teachers and staff who want to be armed in schools. The bill passed on a mostly party line vote and now heads to… Read More

As infrastructure bill is signed, Ohio’s Democratic senator predicts another big Biden win soon

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Statehouse News Bureau) — President Biden will sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill at the White House today, in a ceremony featuring both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. And Ohio’s Democratic US Senator says he expects a signing for the next step in Biden’s economic agenda to happen soon. 19 Republicans in the Senate… Read More

Absentee voters can drop off their election ballots in this box on Court Street in uptown Athens.

Interest in local races, early voting brings in more absentee ballots this year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — There are no federal or statewide offices or issues on this year’s ballot – odd year elections are primarily for local races and issues and judicial candidates. So turnout is expected to be lower. But Ohio voters did turn in more early ballots this year than the last odd-year… Read More

The state board of education building

Two Ohio Board of Education appointees who supported anti-racism resolution resign

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Two appointed members of the Ohio Board of Education will lose their seats. State Board of Education president Laura Kohler of New Albany, whose term was supposed to end in 2024, and member Eric Poklar of Worthington both resigned. Kohler submitted her resignation to Gov. Mike DeWine Thursday afternoon,… Read More

A sign at a Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services building

Ohioans Who Lose Jobless Benefits To Scammers Can Apply To Get Money Restored

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COLUMUBS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohioans who lost money when their unemployment accounts were taken over by scammers can start applying to get that money back on Friday. That’s also when the state will start processing requests from people who got a share of $3 billion in non-fraudulent overpayments who have asked to be… Read More

A technician from the Findlay College of Pharmacy fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Reynoldsburg, February 2021.

Vaccine Bill Would Allow COVID Shot Mandates In Ohio, But Would Guarantee Lots Of Exemptions

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) —A bill allowing businesses and schools to require COVID vaccines that’s set for a full vote in the Ohio House also guarantee broad exemptions for employees and students. The measure attempts to address elements of COVID-related bans that have been proposed in other bills. But it has opposition from a major… Read More

The seven-member Ohio Redistricting Commission is made up of five Republicans - co-chair Speaker Bob Cupp, Gov. Mike DeWine, Auditor Keith Faber, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Senate President Matt Huffman. There are two Democrats on the commission: co-chair Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) and House Minority Leader Emiilia Sykes (D-Akron).

A Lawsuit Has Been Filed Over Maps That Preserve Republican Supermajorities In The Ohio House And Senate

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — As expected, a lawsuit has been filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio against the new four-year Ohio House and Senate district maps, which experts say are gerrymandered to preserve Republican supermajorities in both chambers. The lawsuit… Read More

Matt Dolan

Ohio Senator Matt Dolan Joins The Republican Race For U.S. Senate

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CLEVELAND (Statehouse News Bureau) — There’s yet another candidate in the crowded race for the Republican nomination for US Senate. Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), chair of the Senate Finance Committee and part owner of Cleveland’s baseball team, has joined the contest that will be decided in the GOP primary in May. Dolan describes himself… Read More

Kids were in masks in Worthington Kilbourne High School when the district reopened for in-person learning in March 2021. All K-12 students and staff in the district are required to wear masks after a mandate went into effect August 25, a week after school started for the year.

Key Lawmaker Says A Mask Mandate For All Ohio Schools Wouldn’t Stand

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Children’s hospitals say they’re worried about rising cases of COVID in kids, with nearly half of all Ohio students not required to wear masks in schools. But that’s unlikely to change unless local officials make decisions to do that. There won’t be a statewide mask mandate for Ohio schools,… Read More

A school bus in suburban Columbus picks up students in September 2020.

DeWine Not Ruling Out Ohio National Guard As School Drivers

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The bus driver shortage is so bad in some Ohio school districts that drivers are being asked to do multiple routes, and districts are drafting other school workers to drive or even considering closing down buildings. But another potential solution to do a million miles of bus routes each… Read More

graphic of a gavel on a blue background

Judge Says Hospital Won’t Be Forced To Treat Patient With Ivermectin

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CINCINNATI (Statehouse News Bureau) — A Cincinnati hospital won’t be forced to continue to treat a COVID patient on a ventilator with an unproven drug. This comes after a judge overruled a previous order from a fellow judge in the same court.Butler County judge Michael Oster Jr. denied a request to order UC Health West Chester… Read More

A leaf from a cannabis plant

Backers Of Plan To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol In Ohio Get OK For Next Step

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A proposal to legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol in Ohio has gotten approval from the panel that controls what goes on the statewide ballot. That means the plan’s backers can start what may be a two-step process. The Ohio Ballot Board gave the green light for the marijuana plan’s backers to start gathering… Read More

FirstEnergy Logo

Democratic Lawmaker Wants Records, Investigation On Former Ohio Utilities Commission Chair And FirstEnergy

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A Democratic state lawmaker says he wants more information on the relationship between the former chair of the state’s utility regulating panel and FirstEnergy. It’s the latest in the federal nuclear power plant bailout case that’s seen several plea deals, while Republican former House Speaker Larry Householder or former Ohio GOP chair Matt Borges maintain… Read More